BB03 Poke the Smilies

Course Information

Objective: “Poke the Smilies” is designed to enhance cross-lateral motion, attention, focus, and visual discrimination skills. In this activity, participants interact with a screen displaying various smiley faces, some of which are designated as “bad smilies.” The task involves touching only the “good” smiley faces as they appear across different areas of the screen, using the hand opposite to the side on which the smiley appears. This exercise is particularly beneficial for younger students, offering a playful yet effective way to develop crucial cognitive and motor skills.


  1. Cross-Lateral Motion: Encourages the use of limbs across the body’s midline, which can enhance coordination between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This is crucial for improving motor skills, reading, writing, and other cross-lateral activities.
  2. Attention and Focus: Challenges participants to concentrate on rapidly changing visual stimuli, helping to improve overall attention span and the ability to focus on tasks.
  3. Visual Discrimination: Enhances the ability to distinguish between different visual stimuli. Participants learn to quickly identify and react to the “good” smilies while avoiding the “bad” ones, aiding in the development of critical observation skills.

Course Instructor

Laura Lurns Laura Lurns Author


  1. Setup: Position the participant in front of the screen where the “Poke the Smilies” game is displayed. Ensure that there is ample space for them to reach out and touch the screen without strain.
  2. Game Play: Explain to the participant that smiley faces will appear at various locations on the screen. Some of these are “good” smilies, which they should touch, while others are “bad” smilies, which they should avoid.
  3. Hand Movement: Instruct the participant to use the hand opposite to the side of the screen where the smiley appears. For instance, if a smiley shows up on the left side of the screen, they should reach across their body with their right hand to touch it, and vice versa. This promotes cross-lateral movement.
  4. Duration: The exercise is designed to be flexible in duration. A recommended starting point is one to two minutes, adjusting based on the participant’s comfort and skill level. The goal is to engage in the activity to the point of slight strain, without causing discomfort or frustration.
  5. Repetition: The video loops, allowing for continuous play. Encourage participants to repeat the exercise, gradually increasing the duration as they become more comfortable and proficient.
  6. Feedback: Provide positive reinforcement throughout the exercise. Acknowledge successful touches and gently correct any mistakes. Encouragement is key to maintaining motivation and focus.
  7. Adjustment: Monitor the participant’s progress and adjust the difficulty level as needed. Each subsequent lesson is a little faster than the previous

Conclusion: “Poke the Smilies” is an innovative exercise that combines fun with functional development. By incorporating this activity into a regular routine, participants can significantly improve their cross-lateral motion, attention and focus, and visual discrimination skills, contributing to their overall cognitive and motor development.